Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
|*Meat Loaf with Tim Curry on the big screen.|
For the first time in over thirty years, last weekend, I went to watch Meat Loaf sing in concert for the second time. The first time I saw him, I was "barely seventeen" and he weighed about three hundred and fifty pounds. He lumbered around the stage, stopping frequently to take hits off of an oxygen canister because his asthma was so problematic. He only played for about an hour. The experience was a letdown, especially for an energetic teenager. I forgave Meat Loaf for his lackluster performance. I continued a love affair with his music over the years. So when I saw that he was playing out in Palm Springs in a casino that my dad spends some time at, I asked him to get us some tickets for the concert. Mark, our four Angel Daughters, and I really enjoy going to concerts, so I thought this would be fun for us to do. I must admit that I was not expecting very much as we(Meat Loaf and many of his fans) are getting older. His daughter Pearl was the opening act, but she never announced her relationship to him.(Doesn't want to succeed on the nepotism factor?) Her voice was gritty and strong and lovely, but the reception from the audience was sadly, less than enthusiastic. She tried her hardest to get the crowd going and smiled the entire time. Looking back now, I understand why this happened.
1. The audience did not realize that Pearl was Meat Loaf's daughter.(Sometimes it is best to use who you know to your advantage.)
2. The audience consisted of mostly casino players, many of whom were probably comped tickets by the pit bosses.(People tend to enjoy things more when they pay for them themselves.)
3. The audience was comprised of mostly older people who no longer appreciate loud music.(And some of them appeared to have their hearing aides turned way down.)
None of it had to do with Pearl's performance. She was talented and enthusiastic and lovely.
As for me, let's just say I get very absorbed in enjoying the experience and people around me might or might not consider me a little bit wild once the music begins to play. Now my youngest Angel Daughter knows where she gets it from...
The concert opened with the song "Hot Patootie-Bless my Soul" which originated in the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I am pretty sure that I do not have to explain The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but in case I do, let me just say that it is a very bizarre, very popular cult classic that still has a major following today. Scenes from the movie flashed on the screen behind the band but most of the audience remained fairly docile. Not a great sign for someone who loves to stand up and dance!
The third song in the set was Bat Out of Hell which got a mediocre rise out of the seemingly partially dozing, partially unimpressed crowd. I must admit that the gigantic bat was a bit cheesy, but I did get a kick out of it. After the song was over, Meat Loaf was fairly winded and told a few stories to the audience. He let us all know that he is sixty-two years old and that if he can still get up there and put on this kind of a show, then the audience should be sending some of that energy right back to him.(Check out the heads of the people in the audience. Very few people are standing down on the floor.)
Reflecting upon the days when I was young and free-spirited and quite a bit rebellious might have reminded me of my teenage years and the boys I once knew(What were their names?) and the songs that rocked my soul, but it also reminded me of something else. That everything that happened then, is part of who I still am now. And everyone who had an effect on who I was then, is a part of my history. My story. My life. And who I am now. There is no way to erase or change the things that brought us to this point. There is no way to change the things that make us who we are now. So we might as well embrace them. And dance...
|*The five of us at the Meat Loaf concert. AD3 had previous plans:(|
|*AD1, AD2, and AD4 with Pearl in the background.|
|*AD2 and her Angel Momma|
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
As I sit here contemplating these words, Jewish people all over the world are preparing for the days of awe, ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipppur in which we reflect upon the year that has passed. This is a time for reflection. A time to ruminate. A time to pull out our proverbial "scorecard" and to be honest with ourselves and God about the things we could have done better, the hurt that we might have purposely or inadvertently caused others, and most importantly, what we can do to repair our relationships with each other and the world. On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the new year. We attend synagogue. We pray, and we spend time with family and friends. Apples and honey are often eaten as a symbolic way of hoping for a sweet New Year. It is a time of celebration. Ten days later, on Yom Kippur, we fast, we attend synagogue, we pray that God will forgive us our wrongs and we pray that we will be inscribed in The Book of Life for another year. Yom Kippur is also known as "the day of atonement". It is a very serious day on which we are required to make repairs and right wrongs. On Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed. It is a hugely meaningful time for Jewish people. For us, these are the most important days of the year. Even Jews who are not religious usually attend temple, as well as observe the meaning of these days.
And what I did not know at the time, but I do know now, is that I would be marrying a man who could receive an antique silver bible in the mail, not really concerning himself too much about the origins of this mysterious gift. I, on the other hand, like to solve the riddle. While I contemplate, he accepts. While I analyze, he concedes. While I delve in, he hangs back waiting patiently to find out whether or not I will need his back-up. And if I need him to back me up, well then it is definitely time to get out of the way!
Looking back over the past twenty-six plus years, I have come to the realization that Mark is my perfect fit, and I am his. We have grown up together. We have transformed one another. We have created an impeccable fit. My head fits perfectly into the crux between his neck and collarbone when we hug. I would know the rhythm of his heartbeat anywhere. We often think the same thoughts and say the same words at the same time. September 9, 1984 was only one of the best days of my life. One of many. Oh so many.
Happy Anniversary, my love. The ying to my yang. The cookie to my milk. The other half of my heart. And there is no riddle as to why someone would want to pass along their prayer book to you, anonymously or not. Because you are that kind of man. Humble and kind and a true mensch.
In your eyes...
And to all who honor me by stopping by and taking the time to spend a moment or two in my little corner of the world, whether Jewish or not, I pray for your health. I pray for your joy. I pray for your wellness. L'Shana Tovah-For a Good Year.
PS-And yes, it is very appropriate to say Happy Rosh Hashanah or Happy New Year to your Jewish friends. Thank you for asking, Kim-D, dear one:) On Yom Kippur, an appropriate sentiment would be to say, "May you be sealed."
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Last week slammed in. Hard. Very, very hard. Brick wall, concrete floor, falling from the top of a skyscraper hard. Mortality took center-stage as we said good-bye to one of our beloved cats, Angel Daughter Number Three's bed mate and best friend for over ten years, Max. He was part Maine-Coon, and part dinosaur whenever we had his very unmanageable coat shaved skin close. He worked his way into mine and Angel Daughter Number One's hearts in the restroom of a Petco where we brought him to see if he was friendly. He was sweet as can be. We brought all seventeen pounds of him home on that day. He was a two year old full-grown cat who had been relinquished to an animal rescue organization by his previous owner. His first home was only a pit-stop on his journey to find AD3. When they bonded, it was true love.
Next, my dad and step-mom unexpectedly lost a dear friend of over thirty years to lymphoma. Very sobering reality, as my step-mother told me that she will never again complain about getting older. Losing an old friend is like losing a part of ourselves. But that, unfortunately, can apply in both death and in life. Sometimes friends actually choose to die away from us.(A story for another day. Maybe.)
And finally, but almost most shockingly of all, Angel Daughter Number Two lost a very old and very dear friend suddenly. He was twenty years old. 20. Two decades of life and only beginning to become a man. But who knows what he might have become if he had more time. More time to grow, more time to learn from his mistakes, more time to evolve. Grief brings with it insurmountable anguish and pain. It crashes into us with a thunderous blow. But it also brings along with it unanswerable questions. Questions that those of us who are left behind are forced to contemplate for the rest of our own lives. And sometimes, shrapnel. And fallout. And guilt. So, I comforted and listened. Hugged and cried. Faced anger and resentment. Talked to my daughters about the fragility of life and what we leave behind when we believe that our own actions do not have a major effect on anyone else. How one action can set off another, setting off another, and so on, and so on, and so on. It is difficult to hear, but even more difficult to be honest about. And it is very difficult to accept when you are only twenty or sixteen or even forty-five if you have never really thought about it before. That is why I must pass along what I know to my own children. Because age should bring along with it perspective, but when you are sixteen or eighteen or twenty, the benefit of perspective is a difficult concept to bring into focus. The corners are muddled together with the vaporous edges of teenage angst. And although the despondency is both very real and very justifiable, there must also be perspective. So there have been a lot of tears. A lot of tears. And "You just don't understand"s. And blundering through the barrage of mixed emotions that accompany grief. I am watching my twenty year old make her way through this daze of loss, anger and sadness. There is not a whole lot that I can do. I have said everything that there is to say through the sheerness of some slightly veiled honesty. Now Father Time must take over.
So after the week of every other day sad news, we got in the car and drove out to Palm Springs to see my dad. Our youngest daughter drove out with us and then AD1 and AD2 drove out separately to meet us there. Unfortunately, AD3 had already made plans to spend the weekend with her boyfriend and his family at a BBQ cook-off in Reno, so she was not able to come.
The weekend brought us into the circle of family which, when done right, can be the safest place in the world. And when done poorly, can be the most insecure place on earth.(I have been to both places and still float back and forth between the two realms.) It also brought me back to my restless and stormy days as a seventeen year old girl. When the world was a very arduous, angst-filled place and music filled in for words unspoken. Thank you, Father Time. But for today, I will stop here. And soon enough, I will take you here:
Rock and Roll.
"Going to see Meatloaf in concert."
"Oh, you're going to have meatloaf for dinner?"